What are the problems that the owner of an Audi Q5 faces? In this blog, we will highlight the issues you should keep an eye out for when you are in the market to buy an Audi Q5. However, let’s first start with a quick answer.
The worst model year of an Audi Q5 is 2014, which also contains the two most serious issues: faulty airbags and power steering failure – both of which can result in a car crash. Some other complaints include excessive oil consumption at low mileage, timing belt malfunction, and high repair cost of these problems.
This is the most straightforward answer that we could churn up. In the article below, we’ll discuss every problem in detail. This includes identifying it, fixing it, and how much it costs to fix.
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1. Excessive oil consumption
Audi Q5 2014 models contain the second-generation EA888 engines, which are notorious for their oil consumption. Their oil consumption is progressive, meaning it goes up as the car is used.
The main reason for excessive oil consumption lies with the engine, which has several manufacturing inefficiencies. One of the several faults that cause this problem is that the piston rings allow small amounts of oil to leak into the cylinder. A malfunctioning crankcase pressure regulating valve can cause this problem as well.
The symptoms to look out for regarding this problem include the onset of ‘Low Oil’ light earlier than usual, oil deposits found in the engine, blue smoke coming out of the exhaust, and high fuel consumption.
If you have to put oil in between schedules, you should run an oil consumption test. If you have an Audi Q5 and especially have a second-generation EA888 engine, then you should go to a mechanic as soon as possible to avoid a bill of $5,000-$6,000. The minimum will cost of repair is around $90.
2. Faulty Airbags
Faulty airbags are one of the biggest problems in the Audi Q5. According to NHTSA, 83 complaints were filed for the 2012 Audi Q5 for faulty airbags. The main reason for faulty airbags is a defective passenger occupant sensor connection that deactivates the vehicle’s airbags. This can increase the risk of injury or even death during a crash.
The problem stems from the malfunctioning connection between the passenger seat occupancy sensor and the wiring of the seat. This causes the car computer to assume that there is no passenger in the car and turn off the airbag on the passenger side.
This technology was developed to counter the high repairing cost of a vehicle’s airbags in a crash event by not detonating the unneeded airbags. Audi has recalled all vehicles with recall number 74e3 to fix this issue.
The symptoms that you should look out for are the airbag light, which shows something wrong with the system. If it comes on for a few seconds as the vehicle starts, you don’t have to worry about anything as it’s completely normal and is a part of a diagnostic cycle.
Audi Q5 airbag modules can cost you from $1,126 – $1,175 for a replacement.
3. Timing Chain and Tensioner Failure
Hypothetically a timing chain should never fail throughout its lifetime as it is the central part that connects the crankshaft to the camshaft. This allows the transmission to remain in unison with the engine. However, in the Audi Q5, the timing chain and tensioner fail at around 70,000 miles.
If the timing chain fails, it can be pretty problematic. Best case scenario – the car doesn’t start. In the worst-case scenario, the valve can crash into the piston, which causes significant internal engine damage leading to a hefty repair bill.
The symptoms you should look out for are engine misfires as you start or drive the car, ticking noises coming from the engine bay when the engine is running, and the engine not starting.
As stated above, neglecting this problem can cause significant damage, and if you suspect that a timing chain failure is on the cards, we suggest you see your local mechanic urgently. Take it to a shop, and you might be looking at a bill of $1,400-$7,500 – which varies according to the extent of the problem.
4. Daytime Running Light Failure
The early Q5 models are known for their faulty daytime running lights. Daytime running lights are low-powered LED lights that operate all the time when the car is running. It isn’t an engine-related problem, but it is still a problem you should be on the lookout for if you buy a Q5 of 2012 or earlier models.
The leading cause of this problem is the koito LED control unit, which tells the headlight what to do or when to turn on or off. Its failure causes the DRLs not to function correctly or shut down completely, which is troubling on several tangents. Only one DRL working out of two doesn’t appear elegant; it reduces the appeal of your car. This problem is fixed in the newer models as the lights are different from the previous models.
Fortunately, the solution to this problem is easy. Around 90% of the LED problems have simple DIY fixes, and the parts cost $45 to $80. However, if this doesn’t work, you’ll have to take it to a mechanic. Depending on the extent of the problem, that might set you back by around $800-$1200. If the koito LED control unit is changed, and the problem still exists, then this means that it could be a fuse or the bulbs that need to be changed.
5. Leaking Fuel Pump Flanges
If you are in the market for a Q5 (2009 to 2012), you should know that these models were recalled due to their leaking fuel pump flanges. The fuel pump flanges developed cracks faster than they should, which caused the fuel to leak out of the pump and move into the exhaust pipe.
This increases the pollution and the carbon footprint of your vehicle due to different types of additives leaking into the atmosphere. Another dangerous consequence is that it could start a flame since the easily combustible fuel is leaking into a hot chamber.
Engineers at Audi still don’t know the reason behind it. At first, butyl tape was used to repair the leaking fuel flanges, but then Audi said that this fix was not good enough to prevent leaks and fires, so 240,000 Q5 were recalled so that their fuel pump flanges could be replaced entirely.
If you own a Q5, you should look out for these symptoms: fuel smell in the cabin when you are in the vehicle or gas build-up in exhaust components are the most common signs.
There is a recall to replace the fuel pump flanges, which was issued in December 2018. If you own an Audi from 2009 to 2012 and you don’t know if the flanges were replaced or not, you should get in contact with your nearby Audi dealer. To cut it short, you don’t have to pay anything, and Audi covers this problem.
Reliability is not the strongest suit of the Audi Q5. Some of the Q5s, especially those having second-generation EA888s, are known for their unreliability. If you own an Audi Q5 and maintain your vehicle according to the Audi maintenance schedule, you should expect a healthy life of 150,000 miles to 300,000 miles.
The worst years for the Audi Q5 are 2012 and 2014. These model years of the Audi witnessed excessive oil consumption and timing chain failure that led to hefty bills for its owners. For the 2012 model year, the automaker released 985 technical service bulletins. 2014 model year is known for problems at low mileage of 44,000 miles and had cost owners up to $4,500 in repairs.
The 2017 model of Audi Q5 is the best model year you can get. The Audi Q5 look was revamped entirely. The interior was made more elegant. It was made more spacious to accommodate big families. The handling has also been greatly improved in this model.
The Audi Q5 still has the edge over the other models due to its sportiness. The car platform is also changed to MLB, which it shares with Q7 and A4. It makes the Audi Q5 stronger and lighter. It is also reasonably fast; it can do 0 to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds. It has resolved all of the issues that have haunted the previous model years.
If you are in the market to buy a Q5, you should avoid the earlier model up to 2014 and go for the newer models manufactured after 2014. You will be satisfied by going for a 2017 model year as it has minor problems and provides you with state-of-the-art features and solid safety ratings.
His interests in cars, motorcycles, and machines led him to the University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore where he is currently a mechanical engineering sophomore.
His future aims include the development of an energy-efficient prototype vehicle for the Shell Eco-Marathon competition and getting a Master’s Degree in Automotive Engineering from Germany.